It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams billboard material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year.
In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2018, Athlon asked coaches in the Sun Belt to talk anonymously about their opponents.
Note: These scouting reports come directly from coaching staffs and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.
Sun Belt Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2018
"More talented than you realize, extremely well coached and dangerous on defense."
"They have the physicality on defense to hang with Power 5 programs. They’re replacing a lot on that side but they rotate through a lot of personnel, they should be fine."
"They don’t do a lot on offense, but it works."
"Really the example for any team transitioning up to FBS. They’ve done it better than anyone."
"If they didn’t turn the ball over they would’ve won the conference outright."
"They’ve got a lot of guys back, which makes them the scariest team in the Sun Belt. Their receivers could start in any league, they’re that good."
"They move through a lot of JUCO guys so you as a rival you never know what you’re getting."
"The option system always gives them a chance to stay in a game. It’s a good scheme, when we scout it you can see they’re fitting their guys really well."
"Their problem is defense, because they couldn’t slow anyone down and dictate the speed of the game."
"They’re still adjusting to the league and recruiting to that level."
"They needed to make the coaching change and bring back the culture associated with that program. They’ve got a more positive outlook with the new staff."
"Last year was a total loss for them but now they’ve got more experience coming back than almost anyone in the league."
"They always have talent, can always recruit to fit their scheme. It wasn’t the players or the option. They had a culture issue."
"We’ve seen their defense get better and better over the last few seasons, both in talent and their scheme. They’re starting to get players in the Atlanta area and recruit to an identity."
"I think they’re on the rise as a program but they’re losing a lot of key guys, so this year could be tricky."
"Offensively, they need to settle down some and build consistency. That comes when you make a decision about who you want to be."
"Every year they look like a SEC team when they get off the bus. They’re long, athletic and they have size that you can’t normally find our conference. But one thing that beats them consistently is speed."
"They haven’t translated recruiting to performance, which is hard to explain."
"The new staff needs to open up competition. They looked complacent."
"Steve Campbell is a good fit for that program. He played at Troy and knows the area."
"They’ve been an on-paper talented team for a while now, but there’s never been a clear plan on the field."
"They’re one of the most inconsistent teams in the country. They can beat the best teams in our conference or upset a big team and then fall apart."
"They need maturity. They completely started over, maybe more than any program I’ve seen in the FBS."
"They got rid of a lot of players and have played extremely young the last two years. They need that to start paying off right away."
"They could be in a position really get it rolling, they just need that one win that changes things."
"One of the best programs in our conference, a model for consistency and culture."
"Coach Brown is an air raid guy, but you have to compliment that staff for changing with their needs."
"They’ve played great defense, they’ve run the ball when they had to."
"They’re going to be a top program in the league as long as that staff is there to develop. They’ve got some depth, too."
"A much improved team on offense the last two seasons. They’re doing better using the talent they’ve got. They’re in a great area for talent but have very little in the way of support."
"The offense is scary enough to keep them in any game in conference play, but they don’t have the same team speed on defense."
"The talent gap there is holding them back."